After taking numerous general education courses, changing majors, spending long hours with our heads in textbooks and listening to lectures, the day is finally approaching for the class of 2021 to walk across the stage.
Recently, UNC Greensboro announced that they would be having in-person commencement for the class of 2020 and 2021 following similar announcements made by other UNC schools and universities.
With the challenges brought on by the pandemic, both classes have managed to persevere and continue to work to ensure they could achieve this milestone and move on to the next phase of their lives.
Now that we’re almost done, it’s likely we’ve all been receiving or thinking about the million-dollar question: What’s next?
Graduating college is both exciting and scary as college graduates are faced with the realities of entering the real world. As PSYCOM mentions in their article College Graduation Anxiety: Expert Advice to Help you Navigate the Transition “The realization that adulthood—with all of its seriousness and responsibilities—is fast approaching can be a trigger.”
It’s best not to let anxiety get the best of you. As a senior graduating soon, I too feel the pressures of graduating and moving into the next phase of life but I assure you that you’re more prepared than you think you are.
One of the top concerns after college graduation is looking for a new job. According to The Balance Careers, when asked when to start looking for a job as a senior, they stated, “Recruiting windows for college seniors will vary greatly by employment sector, so the answer is that it depends on the type of job you are applying for – and it’s never too late, even if you didn’t start your job search early.”
Tools like CareerBuilder, Indeed, USA Jobs, After College, LinkedIn and career services on campus are easy and accessible resources for searching for jobs and internships
Building and polishing your resume in a manner that allows you to personalize your brand and stand out from competitors is important. We still have time though, so it’s very possible to attain all the experience necessary to build your skillset and stand out from the crowd in your chosen field.
So, don’t get caught up in what your friends are doing or the positions being offered to your peers. You may even want to consider getting an internship, which could lead to a full-time position.
The reality is that while we may all be graduating together, some of us are facing very different challenges.
However, a huge similarity between us all is the effects of the pandemic on our educational environment. We’ve all had to adjust and accommodate the regulations of our school and the CDC but guess what? We made it work.
Chancellor Gilliam recently stated in the in-person commencement announcement, “The classes of 2020 and 2021 have persevered in the face of enormous challenges. Each of our graduates has shown tremendous resilience and the kind of compassion and sense of community that speaks well of our collective character.”
In our resilience, both classes have managed to embrace and adapt to the new ways of using technology to support course learning. Class of 2020 and 2021, as well as others in schools and universities, are using technology and media every day.
We live in a digital age full of innovators and creatives and the classes of 2020 and 2021 are full of them. Using creativity and digitally networked spheres are becoming increasingly popular and can be used at an advantage for recent and soon-to-be graduates.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports, “Employers plan to recruit the Class of 2021 at the same levels as the Class of 2020, with more of a focus on virtual recruiting.”
Again, remember you’re a lot more prepared than you may think. Use those advantages and your skillset to tackle the next phase of your journey.
And before you let stress engulf you and blind you from this huge milestone in your life. Take the time to congratulate yourself on all the hard work that you have put in over your undergrad years. I’m really proud of us all.